There are some cases where you need to convert your QuickBooks Desktop for Mac file to a QuickBooks Desktop for Windows file, or convert your Windows file to a Mac file. This process, called round tripping, is done due to difference in types of database each program uses. Round tripping is used either to complete an import to QBO or to enable your accountant to make changes on your Mac file.

To know more about the restrictions, how round tripping is done, and the usual errors, select the appropriate topic:

Restrictions

While QuickBooks for Windows can create a backup for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac and vice versa, there are some restrictions:

  1. You must have the Admin password to complete the process.
  2. If prompted to change password during conversion, the new password must be used all throughout the process to avoid confusion.
  3. QuickBooks Desktop for Mac and Windows should have the same year version; e.g. If you have QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2015, you need to use QuickBooks Desktop for Windows 2015.
  4. QuickBooks Desktop for Mac should not be updated once you create a backup for Windows.
  5. You should not enter data in your QuickBooks for Mac file while it is being converted, otherwise, you need to reenter the data when you receive your file back.
  6. Avoid processing payroll in the QuickBooks for Windows version of the file. The payroll data that you enter will be lost when the file is converted back to QuickBooks for Mac since it does not have internal payroll.
  7. You cannot round trip to QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions (QBES) because QBES cannot produce a QuickBooks Desktop for Mac backup.
  8. Some data may or may not be converted due to lack of features in QuickBooks for Mac compared to QuickBooks for Windows. Check this article for a complete list.

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Prepare your QuickBooks Desktop for Mac file for conversion

Here are some file preparation steps for your QuickBooks Desktop for Mac file to ensure the process goes smoothly:

  • Update QuickBooks Desktop for Mac to the latest release.
  • Check for any special characters in the file name and company name, such as !@#$%^&*. If there are any, rename the file to remove the special characters.
    Note: Company name is under QuickBooks menu > Preferences > My Company.
  • Check for any memos with names longer than 50 characters or containing special characters such as !@#$%^&*.
    1. Go to the Reports menu then select Custom Transaction Detail Report.
    2. In the Modify Report window, select the Dates drop-down arrow and choose All.
    3. Under Columns, select Memo.
    4. Select OK to run the report.
    5. Remove the memos with more than 50 characters/special characters from their corresponding transaction.
  • Delete all memorized transactions and memorized reports.
  • Re-sort lists.
  • Rebuild and Verify data your company file data.

Convert your Mac company file to a Windows file

  1. Open the company file in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.
  2. Create a copy of your company file for Windows.
    • For QuickBooks 2014: Go to the File menu then select Back up to QuickBooks for Windows.
    • For QuickBooks 2015 and later versions: Go to the File menu then select Utilities > Export > To QuickBooks for Windows.
  3. In the Save As field, type a name for the file. For the Where field, select Desktop then Save.
    Note: An instructional PDF file will be available to print as reference when restoring the file.
  4. Rename the company file to avoid overwriting the updated copy when it is returned.
  5. Send the backup to the Windows machine using whatever method you prefer (e.g., DVD, external hard drive, flash drive, FTP web site, or secure transfer service).
  6. Restore the backup using QuickBooks Desktop for Windows.
    1. Go to the File menu then select Open or Restore Company.
    2. Select Restore a backup copy (.qbb) then Next.
    3. Select Local backup then Next.
    4. Select the backup from the location it was saved in then select Open.
    5. When asked to update the file to the new version, type yes then OK.

Convert your Windows company file to a Mac file

  1. Update QuickBooks Desktop for Windows to the latest release.
  2. Open the company file in QuickBooks Desktop for Windows.
  3. Re-sort lists.
  4. Rebuild and Verify your company file data.
  5. Go to the File menu then select Utilities > Copy Company File for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.
  6. Save the file in your desired location. This creates a file with the extension MAC.qbb.
  7. Send the copy to the Mac computer using whatever method you prefer (e.g., DVD, external hard drive, flash drive, FTP web site).
  8. Restore the file using QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.
    1. In the No Company Open window, select Browse and locate the file you want to restore.
      Note: If your QuickBooks Windows file is on an external drive, save it locally by dragging it to the desired location before restoring it to avoid data corruption.
    2. QuickBooks will ask if you want to restore a QuickBooks Desktop for Windows file. Select OK.
    3. Enter a name for the restored file then select Save.

Conversion Errors

Cannot open the file in Windows

When opening the file in QuickBooks Desktop for Windows, you will see either of these errors:
  • Error C=116

  • Error (-14113, 0)

To resolve this:
  1. Open your file in QuickBooks for Mac.
  2. Re-sort lists.
  3. Run Verify and Rebuild on your company file data.
  4. Retry converting.

Cannot open the file in Mac after updating QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

When you try opening the file in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, you see the following message:

Cannot Import the round trip file. This file was originally created with another version of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac. Please import it into the version with which it was created.

  1. Download and reinstall your previous version and release.
  2. Restore the backup from Windows.
  3. Convert your restored data file to your newer version of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.

Unrecoverable Error when updating a QuickBooks for Mac file to QuickBooks for Windows

  1. Restore a backup (.dmg) in QuickBooks Mac.
    Note: If restoring fails, perform basic data damage troubleshooting on your company file.
  2. Create a new backup for Windows (.qbb).
  3. On your Windows computer, create a new folder on your Desktop.
  4. Copy the new backup file (.qbb) to the folder.
  5. When restoring the backup, make sure to save the company file (.qbw) on the new folder of your Windows Desktop.
 
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